Siege o Sidney Street

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The Siege o Sidney Street o Januar 1911, kent as the Battle o Stepney an aw, wis a gunfecht in the East End o Lunnon atween a combined police an airmy force an twa Latvie revolutionars. The siege wis the culmination o a series o events that began in Dizember 1910, wi a attemptit jewellery robbery at Houndsditch in the Ceety o Lunnon bi a gang o Latvie immigrants which resultit in the murther o three polisemen, the woondin o twa ithers, an the daith o George Gardstein, the leader o the Latvie gang.

An investigation bi the Metropolitan an City of London Police forces identifee'd Gardstein's accomplices, maist o wham wur arrestit athin twa weeks. The polis wur informit that the feenal twa members o the gang wur hidin at 100 Sidney Street in Stepney. The polis evacuatit local residents frae the environs, an on the fore-nuin o 3 Januar a firefecht breuk oot. Airmit wi inferior wappens, the polis sought assistance frae the airmy. The siege lastit for aboot sax oors. Towards the end o the staund-aff, the biggin caucht fire; nae single cause haes been identifee'd. Ane o the agitators in the biggin wis shot afore the fire teuk control. Whilk the London Fire Brigade wur dampin doun the ruins—in which thay foond the twa bodies—the biggin collapsed, killin a fireman, Superintendent Charles Pearson.

The siege markit the first time the polis haed requestit militar assistance in Lunnon tae deal wi a airmit staund-aff. It wis the first siege in Breetain tae be caucht on camera an aw, as the events wur filmit bi Pathé News. Some o the fuitage included images o the then Hame Secretar, Winston Churchill. His presence caused a poleetical row ower the level o his operational involvement. At the subsequent trial in Mey 1911 o those arrestit for the Houndsditch jewellery robbery, aw but ane o the accusit wur acquittit; the sole conviction wis subsequently owerturned on appeal. The events wur feectionalisit in film—in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) an The Siege of Sidney Street (1960)—an novels. On the centenar o the events twa touer blocks in Sidney Street wur namit efter Peter the Painter, ane o the minor members o the gang wha wis probably no present at aither Houndsditch or Sidney Street. The murthert polismen an the fireman who dee'd are commemoratit wi memorial plaques.

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Media relatit tae Siege of Sidney Street at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°31′06″N 0°03′20″W / 51.51824°N 0.05549°W / 51.51824; -0.05549